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Embroider Your Life: Simple Techniques & 150 Stylish Motifs to Embellish Your World Paperback – Illustrated, September 12, 2017
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From the Publisher
Techniques, tips, and inspiration galore!
Learn creative ways to personalize your clothing, accessories, and home decor by exploring color, stitch variations, fabric grounds, thread types, scale, fills, and more! With 150 stitch modern motifs designed by 20 of Instagram's and Etsy's top creators. Clear, color photos throughout make it easy to pick up embroidery as a novice, with tons of inspiration for novel ways for established embroidery experts to embellish everything!
- Materials, Tools, and Techniques
- Natural World
- Designed World
37 categories across 4 different themes
Communication: Numbers, words, typographic symbols, astrological and mystic symbols and more
Natural World: animals, plants, organic borders, and even people
Designed World: everyday objects, visual aids, gems, and more
Patterns: radial, art deco, geometric, and folkloric
About the Author
Nathalie Mornu created her first piece of embroidery more than 10 years ago. She has written and edited craft books since 2003 and is the author of the bestselling A Is for Apron. Her other titles include Knit & Wrap, Quilt It with Wool, Contemporary Bead & Wire Jewelry, and Leather Jewelry.
- Item Weight : 14.1 ounces
- ISBN-10 : 1465464859
- ISBN-13 : 978-1465464859
- Paperback : 128 pages
- Dimensions : 7.75 x 0.36 x 9.19 inches
- Publisher : DK; Illustrated edition (September 12, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #554,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The inconsistencies and gaps in the text begin almost immediately however. Perhaps the most glaring is the insistence in the instructional chapter to always use a hoop when embroidering. Then project after project is shown embroidering in places where a hoop would be impossible to maneuver--a jeans watch pocket, the sides of purses and small bags, even small rings.
But then there are other problems. On page 20, she mentions the conditioning thread, shows a picture of something that appears to be a container of same, and says it's okay if you want to use it. No more information on possible downsides, no purchasing information, just a reference to something that most people doing embroidery will never use and that may actually not be a good thing for fhe final work.
A hint at the questionable quality of the illustrations is first seen in the Basic Stitches section. While there is a good attempt to show how various stitches will look with various threads and yarns, the quality of those samples is not at all helpful. The Split Stitch and Chain Stitch samples are barely distinguishable,and the uniqueness of the Couching stitch is barely visible on a couple of the lines.
There is a lot of originality in the suggested use of lettering and in some of the ways that fill is done for designs that make them quite unlike traditional needlework.
Don't be misled by the "150 motifs" advertised on the book cover. These are mostly small cartoonish sketches at the top of each section, none more than an inch or two high. If you would want to use them as patterns, you will definitely need access to a copier that enlarges to several times the size of the original, Readers should be aware too that the choice of motifs is unusual, with astrological signs (a particularly weak set of drawings here) to very simple "gems" to what can only be described as a bizarre set of drawings of deer. There are Day of the Dead skulls, some World War II tatto patterns, and even some domed churches and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but the overall quality of all the patterns is really not good.
What does keep this book from being a total waste of time are the various projects like a small stuffed fox toy and the very creative usage of lettering. Here, the reader needs to make the assumption that the author has taken favorite fonts from the internet and enlarged and embellished them. The section on paper embroidery also has some interesting ideas, though there is too little warning of the very difficult nature of doing needlework on paper.
It is hard to recommend this book because of the many weaknesses. If you are getting a kind of writers' block in your embroidery projects, there could be a little bit of help here with the offbeat offerings, but for most, this will not be a useful resource.
DK Canada has some great ideas for adult makers too! Embroider Your Life, edited by Nathlie Mornu caught my eye.
I am familiar with the basic techniques and tools needed, but appreciated the refresher that Mornu starts the book off with. Floss and Thread, Hoops, Fabric, Other Tools, Transferring Motifs. Newcomers to embroidery will also appreciate the detailed 'how to stitch' diagrams accompanied by colour photos of the real thing. I picked up some refreshers in this section.
Mornu has found fresh ideas and designs for embroidery. Clothing, combining paint and floss, modern artwork and more. Stitching on photos and paper. I liked this idea for personalized cards. Stitching on jeans is a retro idea - I think I will revisit this using the idea of working on the turned up cuff. The ideas and concepts in the book are courtesy of 21 designers, artists and makers from North America and England.
Motifs for many designs within the cateogories of communication, the natural world, the designed world and patterns. They are in black and white and could be easily photocopied to transfer to your chosen medium.
Embroider Your Life was a fresh, modern take on an old skill. This art form can be incorporated into and onto many everyday objects and pieces. Eye catching and inspiring.
This book would be very good for a young person, new to embroidery, because it covers the fundamentals like ways to transfer a pattern, the use of stabilizers, and basic stitches, but it also offers creative ideas for a more experienced embroiderer. There are lots of simple motifs you can photocopy and use throughout the book, along with clever applications. The themes of the motifs are widely varied and there are plenty of full color pictures.
I like this book very much *because* of the wide variety of styles and motifs. It served as a springboard for me to start a project that evening. I have always added embroidery to jeans and other, utilitarian clothing and the author has included some great ideas for that, as well as a few ideas for clothing embellishment that I had never thought of.
If you are looking for more complex embroidery patterns and ideas, you will likely be disappointed. This is very much a book about simple elegance or surprising, small touches. I will be ordering another copy for my 8-year-old granddaughter, who is just beginning to embroider because I know it will be a great reference and idea book for her, too.
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in Spain on April 22, 2020